How to Draw a Nautilus

In this quick tutorial you'll learn how to draw a Nautilus in 5 easy steps - great for kids and novice artists.

The images above represent how your finished drawing is going to look and the steps involved.

Below are the individual steps - you can click on each one for a High Resolution printable PDF version.

At the bottom you can read some interesting facts about the Nautilus.

Make sure you also check out any of the hundreds of drawing tutorials grouped by category.

How to Draw a Nautilus - Step-by-Step Tutorial

Step 1: The Nautilus is a very interesting underwater that has been around for 550 million years! Let's start with they eye. Their eye is so primitive, it has no lens. Draw a pin-shaped hole with a line extending down. Then draw a circle shape around that, and a small triangle at the top.

Step 2: Now for the hood, bring a curve out along the left and then make another triangular shape way above the eye. Bring the right side together by rounding out the triangle and adding a few curved lines next to the eye.

Step 3: To draw the tentacles, bring a nice arc down from the eye and form it into a square shape that comes up towards the hood. Add a few lines for detail. The Nautilus has ninety tentacles, but none of them have suckers.

Step 4: For the shell, draw a large round shape to cover all the empty space on the left.

Step 5: Finally add a few curvy lines along the shell for detail. You can color some brown zebra stripes onto the white shell.

Interesting Facts about the Nautilus

The nautilus is an interesting type of cephalopod that is also often referred to chambered nautilus. These creatures are also referred to as “living fossils” since they have been present in the world for around 550 million years! These mollusks can be found in tropical waters, normally close to where coral reefs decline into deep waters.

Did you know?

  • The shell of this creature shows brown zebra-like stripes over a white shell and shows an example of countershading by being light on the bottom and then gradually getting darker on the top; which is to help it blend in with the darkness of the sea so it is less visible to predators.
  • The eye of the nautilus is very primitive and has no lens in it, which is kind of like an old pinhole camera!
  • The nautilus has around 90 tentacles and none of them have any suckers
  • The inside of the shell of the nautilus is lined with nacre, which is the stuff that is on the outside of pearls, giving them strength and iridescence
  • Unlike most other cephalopods, nautiluses live up to 15 years
  • When it becomes nighttime the nautilus will rise up from the depths of the water and search for food by smelling the ocean currents in search of the scent of dying or dead prey